Hamza Akoshe Akuyam is the Bauchi state chairman of the PDP. In this interview with ALI GALADIMA, he spoke on the defection of Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Edo state PDP primary and the current crisis rocking APC.
Defection of Yakubu Dogara to APC is no longer a news. In your first comment you said he has not notified the party and he was still a member of the PDP, now that he has notified the party officially. What is your reaction on that?
First and foremost we thank God. It is unfortunate that such development happened. Nobody would like any of his member to exit but the reasons he forward as reasons for his defection from the party to me he wants to leave the party long ago before that so what he just brought as reasons are baseless issues. If he had problems he has to meet the Governor and sort out issues with him. Now that he had left the PDP and he knew very well that when he joined us in 2019 election he join us saying that the APC government have failed the country, APC has done this has done that, and so he has no reasons to stay there and then the only option for him was to come to PDP which to him is better off then so now he is contradicting himself. He is trying to be either a political prostitute or just a nomadic politicians who never stay in one place and the only thing is as a member and former Speaker of the House of Representative and he did say in his letter that there is nothing more Honorable than to leave our party but I challenge him that there is nothing more Honorable than to resign that position. The position he is occupying is for PDP so if he resign the position and come and re-contest election from any other party we are ready for him, but not to take our party and say is Honorable which honor do you have, you have move from PDP to APC, APC to PDP and now to APC how do you take that one political prostitute no more no less.
You say you knew before he left the party. What were the sign you saw?
The signs were there. He never came to any of our functions, he never engaged our local party chapters either in the ward level or LGA level. We used to invite him for a meeting but he refused to come. He did not represent us very well. Have you ever seen him in the national assembly he doesn’t go there so what else do you want from him if he want to leave the party he is welcome. But not by bringing flimsy accusations. When he has a concrete reason let him bring it. If he is really honorable, as he calls himself, let him resign his position because he clichéd that seat on a platter of the PDP.
Would the party miss him?
We don’t missed what you don’t have
Now that he is no more in the party the PDP in Bauchi missed him?
No. We will not missed him, we were on and on before he came in, the PDP was intact for three years since 2015 when he left us and joined APC we were intact waiting to take over power in 2019.
But he help your party to won election?
We did not visit any LGA with him except his constituency as a Speaker. As the number four citizen, he is supposed to go round to the whole LGAs. He did not and there is no activity that we did that he attended.
Chairman, we know that it was his constituency that gave you victory?
No, no no, please we know it was his constituency that gave our party victory we have two members House of Assembly there, and his LGA Bogoro we won, and Bauchi LGA we won we won it we won many LGA and so is a great combine effort nobody would claimed victory alone. Speaker Dogara would not claim it alone, so it is unfortunate if he is the one claiming that he brought victory. But the only way he can prove it is for him to re-contest the election under the platform of APC then we can contest together with him then the difference would be clear.
PDP is now on the driver seat in Bauchi state for a little over a year. How would you score the PDP performance so far?
Well, you see you don’t ask somebody to score himself naturally you go and access his performance with the people out there, and there are people all over the state that can tell you whether we are good or bad or we are better than somebody so I am not the one to score myself.
The APC since PDP took over the reign, has been busy with internal problems and leadership tussle in the state. Why do you thing that is the case?
I have been talking about these things in my previous interviews. APC don’t know anything but opposition. They are always in opposition so when they find themselves in the mantle of power they cannot perform better. Everybody in Nigeria knows that we are better off then than where we are today. How are we managing Covid 19? How are we managing our prices? And, how are we managing our security? I cannot asses APC because I have not been a member and I do not expect anything better than crisis.
Governor Bala Mohammed recently went to Edo State to conduct a very successful PDP gubernatorial primary. He made it look easy. What’s your take on that?
Just to tell you that PDP know much about governance – how we settle issues, and how to live with our people, how to live with our brothers and sisters – and that was shown in Edo. We had a very successful primary and in Sha Allah we will take Edo state.
At the legislative chamber, the number appears to favor the APC. But His Excellency has managed to navigate the waters. What do you think is responsible and do you expect the number of the PDP to increase in 2023?
I think we will only cross the river. We will cross the bridge when we reach there. So come 2023 In Sha Allah, we will take over but I will not like to comment on 2023 until we reach there but we are prepared for that.
Chairman there are allegation from Dogara camp that there was an agreement signed between Dogara and KAURA but you people reneged or you did not fulfill your own part of the agreement and that is one of the reasons why Dogara left to APC can you confirm that?
The best thing you would have done is to ask for that agreement. When he produce it to you then we can look into it. I am not aware of any agreement. He had a problem with the APC. He was number four citizen yet he cannot cliché the ticket from the then Governor. He had no option but to run to us. He would not have been where he is now that is why I am challenging him if he worth his words let him resign his position as a Honorable member as a former speaker.
What are the efforts you made to settle with him and before his exit?
Yes, I have been writing letters to him calling him for a meeting but he refused to come. If a child does not cry would his mama know that he has a problem? She would not know. So far his mama to know that he has a problem he has to cry which he did not do.
Sir, don’t you think that the departure of Dogara would hurt your party because he has a lot of supporters?
We have twelve members of house of reps in Bauchi state, he is just one
Are you trying to repeat a similar mistake made by then Governor Mohammed Abubakar?
That is why I told you if he is worth his name, he should resign and re-contest for the seat. Let me tell you somebody who was number four citizen – and then then Governor could not give him seat or party ticket, he could not use his power to take that seat. He had to run away – and come to the PDP. Let him come and see what we are capable of doing.
Sir, A PDP chieftain Bibi Dogo recently made a statement that Dogara benefited from the 3.6 billion car procurement. Does that mean that the allegation were true?
He has his problems. When you see a dog running, he is running from somebody or somebody is pursuing him. So he has his problem with the NDDC or NEDC. That is his problem and I am not aware of that. He knows better because APC looks like a save heaven for those who have criminal background. I am not saying he has but he knows better than everybody.
Sir, he further alleged that you agreed that in six months you will conduct LGA elections?
Gentleman, we have never said so. But let me tell you, we planned to have our council election sometimes in August but because of the Covid 19 we had to rearrange. Now, we are having it in October, so it’s not an issue. He cannot comment on that because he never followed us to any local government to know whether we have say it or not – maybe he heard it somewhere yes, but we are in course.
What about the issue of mismanagement of LGA allocation that he included in his letter?
I think you should ask the Governor. I am talking from the party standpoint. The government is in better position to answer that.
Governor Bala Mohammed visited Ibrahim Babangida recently. Any comment on that?
I was not part of it he was his former boss so he has a right to visit him. He is an elder statesman so if he visit him there is nothing wrong you see it is only news when a man bites a dog not when a dog bites a man.
He only said that your party agreed not to maltreated traditional rulers in the state but this is what is happening?
One thing I want to comment on is this, we have never maltreated any traditional ruler to my knowledge there was crisis in Misau which led to the killing of eleven people because of land that is handled by these traditional institution. A Committee has been set up to investigate and report back to government.
What is your message to your members with the departure of Dogara?
We will remain focus and our eyes is on the ball. I want everyone to cooperate with the government and see reasons. We are only one year old and we can beat out chest that we have achieved a lot. Anybody who knows Bauchi very well can attest to that. So I am appealing to our teaming supporters to stay resolute. If Dogara have left, he must have a reason for living us. When he came, we were happy. So when he is living, we may not be happy. But when he want to tell us something we will tell him more than what he is going to tell us.